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documents by Mr. Kamiyama. This unusual step reflected Mr.
Flumenbaum's overriding determination to pursue criminal
charges against Reverend Moon and Mr. Kamiyama. This
determination was manifested, moreover, in comments to Justice Department colleagues, reported in the "American
(Mr.) Mark Pomerantz (an Assistant United States Attorney) remembers that when the prosecutors returned from a trip to the Justice Department in Washington to argue for authorization on the Moon indictment, Flumenbaum turned down a ride back to the New York courthouse from the airport this way: 'If they don't want to authorize prosecution, I'll take the subway, back to Paul, Weiss.' li.e., his prior employer.) ?
Mr. Flumenbaum's allegations against Mr. Kamiyama,
used to support the decision to go forward with this
prosecution, grew out of Mr. Kamiyama's appearance before a Federal Grand Jury investigating Reverend Moon's finances. Mr. Kamiyama was summoned before the Grand Jury on July 9, 16 and 21, 1981 because of his familiarity with the financial interests of the Unification Church movement. Due to Mr. Kamiyama's lack of fluency in English, however, his testimony before the Grand Jury was interpreted by Mr. John Mochizuki, a Japanese-English interpreter retained by Mr. Flumenbaum.
Although he knew that Mr. Kamiyama's testimony
would be a vital element of the government's case against
Reverend Moon, Mr. Flumenbaum, in selecting an interpreter for Mr. Kamiyama, did not attempt to consult with Court officials normally responsible for the retention of interpreters. Moreover, in selecting his own interpreter, Mr. Flumenbaum did not even comply with the basic requirements of the Court Interpreters Act of 1978. This Act mandates the appointment of qualified interpreters for parties and witnesses not proficient in the English language in actions brought by the Federal government. Thus, the
interpreter selected by Mr. Flumenbaum was not certified for
court interpretation, and indeed, was classified by the Department of State as being qualified only for informal "escort" type summary interpretation. Predictably, then, Mr. Mochizuki's interpretation was gravely inaccurate. This
fact was repeatedly confirmed both prior to the return of
the final indictment and thereafter.
Mr. Flumenbaum, in
fact, was provided with accurate translations of the Grand
Jury proceedings prepared by a court-appointed translator and an independent translator whom he, himself, retained. He ignored these translations, however, and insisted upon
charging Mr. Kamiyama with six counts of false swearing
before the Grand Jury based upon the original misinterpretation of his testimony.
The "evidence" which led to the reversal of the
Tax Division's decision not to prosecute Reverend Moon,
accordingly, was based upon a misinterpretation of Mr. Kamiyama's testimony a misinterpretation which the government encouraged through the retention of an uncertified, incompetent interpreter. Properly interpreted, Mr. Kamiyama's testimony was not perjurious. The record
demonstrates, moreover, that because of Mr. Mochizuki's
misinterpretation and ignorance of court proceedings, M. Kamiyama was not properly sworn as a witness, a necessary prerequisite to a perjury prosecution. Similarly, because of Mr. Mochizuki's inexperience with legal proceedings, Mr. Kamiyama was not given effective perjury and Fifth Amendment warnings. Thus, by appointing an incompetent interpreter,
the government allowed Mr. Kamiyama to fall into a
linguistic perjury trap resulting in the allegedly false testimony which was used by the prosecution to support the conspiracy theory which had been developed. With this "evidence" of fraudulent action, Mr. Flumenbaum successfully secured authorization for the prosecution and ultimate
conviction of both defendants.
The charge that one of Reverend Moon's closest advisors. had committed perjury and had submitted false documents to the Justice Department had an obvious prejudicial impact on this proceeding. Similarly, the allegations against Mr. Kamiyama provided the government with a means by which inflammatory evidence could be introduced in support of the alleged conspiracy. In order to exploit this evidence, the government insisted upon a trial before a jury which would be more susceptible to such prejudicial evidence than would be a judge presiding in a bench trial. It did so with knowledge that a public poll had confirmed that a substantial portion of the general public held an unfavorable image of the international Unification Church movement and even though both defendants had requested a non-jury trial. The Court, while expressing misgivings over the government's action, ignored this . indisputable evidence of hostile public opinion regarding the Unification Church movement and denied defendants'
request for non-jury trial.
Once it successfully secured a jury trial, the
government attempted to take advantage of the known preconceptions and biases of the jurors by introducing highly prejudicial and irrelevant evidence. For example, by demonstrating the intense faith and devotion of adherents to Unification theology, the prosecution sought to establish that Church members would go to any length to protect Reverend Moon -- including the commission of illegal and conspiratorial acts. This information clearly would have been inadmissible had Reverend Moon been tried alone. The
Court, nevertheless, permitted the evidence to be admitted,
accepting the government's argument that such evidence was
necessary to support the general and vague conspiracy alleged in the indictment. Mr. Kamiyama's presence, therefore, served to convert a trial involving narrow
questions of tax and trust principles into a trial of the Unification Church movement itself.
In conclusion, the record reveals that the prosecution and conviction of Reverend Moon were motivated
government thus used Reverend Moon as a scapegoat and used
his prosecution in order to establish a precedent for
government intrusion into the affairs of religious groups. Indeed, as Reverend Moon himself noted in a speech given several days following his indictment: "I would not be
standing here today if my skin were white and my religion
were Presbyterian. I am here today only because my skin is yellow and my religion is Unification Church." 2 This conclusion is supported by the fact that the government spent several hundred thousand dollars in order to prosecute a tax deficiency which even according to its own calculations was less than $8,000 during the 3-year period in question. Both defendants were thus subjected to manifold injustices, including violations of their Fifth Amendment right to a fair trial and standards of due process which are the proper concern of the Subcommittee and all
2 This speech, given in front of the United States courthouse at Foley Square in New York City, was later cited by the government as the basis for its decision to refuse the defendants' request for a non-jury trial.
LIST CF FYI'IPITS
Court Interpreters Act Public Law 95-539, 95th Congress, October 28, 1978
Affidavit of Robert F. Peggestad re conversation with Jack Jeeth, Administrative Office of United States Courts
Affidavit of fichert r. Peygestad re conversation with Manabu Fukuda, interpreting Pranch of the language Services Division of the United States Department of State
Affidavit of Pchert L. Heggestad re conversation with Pina Kohn, Director of the United States District Court Interpreters office in New York
Letter date:c cctcher 9, 1984 tc Takeru
Letter dated October 3, 1984 to Honorable
Interview of Ms. risuke Sasagawa on His
Peport of Kinko fate entitleć "On the Grand